Updated 23 April 2020
This media release and the letter to Mr Duncan Ord regarding “Matheson v Local Government Standards Panel  WASAT 26" signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rochelle Lavery also dated 6 March 2020 were not at any time authorised or endorsed by the Council. The Council determined at the ordinary council meeting of 17 March 2020 that another letter be sent to Mr Ord, the Director General of the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries as per the attached.
Other relevant determinations at the council meeting were:
- The Council notes the decision in the case of Matheson -v- Local Government Standards Panel  WASAT 26.
- The Council determines that subject to any future Council resolution to the contrary and other than as required or permitted by resolutions passed at the ordinary council meeting of 17 March 2020 (the Resolutions), the City is to take no further action in respect of the decision referred to in resolution 1 above (other than if and where required by law to do so), including without limitation seeking directly or indirectly any review or appeal of the Decision. For the avoidance of doubt, Elected Member questions and requests for information regarding these matters and the Resolutions subsequent to this meeting, are not covered by this resolution and may be actioned by the Chief Executive Officer.
- A letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer, as per Attachment B (including a copy of the enclosures referred to in Attachment B) suitably addressed and completed, is to be emailed and couriered to Mr Duncan Ord, Director General, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and a copy provided to Elected Members by close of business 18 March 2020.
- That this statement be placed on this news story.
- The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to promptly provide to Elected Members a copy of any existing (if not already provided) or future correspondence between Director General Ord/ the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the City/Chief Executive Officer regarding the decision in Matheson -v- Local Government Standards Panel  WASAT 26 and anything arising from or pertaining to the letter signed by the CEO to Mr Ord dated 6 March 2020.
- The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to promptly provide to Elected Members copies of any legal advice obtained or received prior to this meeting (where not already so provided) or subsequently, relating to any one or more of the decision in Matheson -v- Local Government Standards Panel  WASAT 26, the 6 March 2020 media release, the 6 March 2020 letter to Mr Ord and any of these resolutions. If any such legal advice is provided verbally to the CEO, the CEO is to ensure it is promptly confirmed in writing by the provider and then promptly provided to Elected Members.
- If the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) meets with Director General Ord in any official City capacity and discusses the matters in the letter to Mr Ord signed by the CEO and dated 6 March 2020, she is to provide a detailed written report about the meeting to Elected Members within 3 working days.
Last year, a Local Government Standards Panel review found former Councillor Julie Matheson had committed a minor breach of the Local Government Regulations.
Ms Matheson appealed this decision with the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and on 4 March 2020, SAT set aside the finding of the Standards Panel.
The City of Subiaco was not party to the appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal and was not given the opportunity to provide information or a response to the matter which may have resulted in a different outcome.
City of Subiaco Chief Executive Officer Rochelle Lavery said she was disappointed the City was not offered the opportunity to respond.
“The SAT determination confirmed that it did not investigate the process followed by the City or the Council, but then in the closing statements made comments on these matters without all the facts before them," Ms Lavery said.
“I have today written to the Department of Local Government who are responsible for the Local Government Standards Panel, advising that we believe the process followed by SAT is fundamentally unfair, and inconsistent with the rules of natural justice, and has serious ramifications for the local government sector as a whole.
“We hope to see a prompt response to the concerns addressed in our letter,” said Ms Lavery.